Biden administration holds back intel from Israel on Hamas leaders’ whereabouts to use as leverage: report

The Biden administration has reportedly offered Israel “delicate intelligence” to assist root out Hamas leaders — prompting critics to assert this reveals the White Home withheld the essential knowledge to make use of as leverage.

The administration Monday adamantly denied the accusation that it held again intelligence from Israel in the course of the allies’ public feud over how the Jewish state ought to proceed in Rafah.

The Washington Submit reported over the weekend that the White Home has been providing Israel the important thing intelligence over the previous a number of weeks as President Biden seeks to keep away from a full-blown Rafah invasion in Gaza, with the outlet citing 4 sources.

The US is dangling the supply to point out Israel doesn’t must unleash its full navy wrath on the civilian-packed, war-torn Palestinian area to nail leaders of the phobia group, the sources stated.

The outlet famous that the administration has despatched Israel intelligence all through the struggle however is looking for to make the case that with extra delicate US info on the Hamas management’s whereabouts, its ally can conduct a extremely focused operation reasonably than a full-scale incursion.

Israeli tanks Monday transfer close to the nation’s southern border with the Gaza Strip. AFP through Getty Photographs

Quite a few critics on the fitting lashed out on the administration after the report surfaced, fearing the US was suppressing essential intel in the course of the devastating Israel-Hamas struggle.

“Apparently primarily based on studies this morning … they’re withholding intelligence in regards to the location of senior Hamas leaders … from Israel to attempt to drive Israel not to enter Rafah,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) claimed on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

Conservative commentator Man Benson added on X, “So Biden is now withholding navy assist AND precious intelligence from the Israelis throughout their struggle in opposition to genocidal terrorists who murdered a bunch of Individuals & are nonetheless holding American hostages. Surreal.’’

However a Nationwide Safety Council rep told The Post on Monday, “We’ve got already been serving to Israel goal Hamas’ leaders, and that work continues on an ongoing foundation.

“We’re not holding something again,’’ the consultant insisted. “We consider [Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar] Sinwar ought to and certainly should be held accountable for the horrors of the October 7 assault.”

Final week, Nationwide Safety Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby affirmed that the US has been collaborating with Israel on anti-terrorism efforts.

“We’ve got an extended, lengthy, and strong relationship on the counterterrorism entrance with Israel, which incorporates intelligence-sharing and contains operational classes realized and different technique of cooperation,” he instructed reporters.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has repeatedly declared that the US has the identical goal as Israel to take down Hamas.

“We’ve got the identical goal as Israel. We need to guarantee that Hamas can not govern Gaza once more,” he instructed CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

President Biden is dealing with intense home strain over the Israel-Hamas struggle. AP

However President Biden, 81, has famously clashed with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 74, over a attainable main floor offensive into the southern Gazan metropolis of Rafah.

The president has opposed any such operation and not using a credible plan for civilians in place, and prime administration officers say they’ve but to see one.

Rafah was as soon as residence to an estimated 1.5 million Palestinians, lots of whom have taken shelter there in tents whereas fleeing the combating into the northern areas of the Gaza Strip.

Israel has since moved to evacuate hundreds and has performed some lighter operations within the refugee-dense metropolis.

Netanyahu contends that Rafah is without doubt one of the final remaining strongholds of Hamas within the Gaza Strip and has said that the struggle won’t finish till Israel has performed operations there.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is grappling with criticisms at residence that he ought to have gone into Rafah earlier. AP
Mourners grieve on the graves of Israelis killed in the course of the Hamas bloodbath Oct. 7. Getty Photographs

US intelligence believes that Sinwar will not be holed up in Rafah, based on a number of studies. However Israel seems to consider that different prime terrorists are nonetheless within the metropolis.

Final week, Biden confirmed that he’s withholding the sale of two,000-pound bombs to Israel — for now.
“I made it clear that in the event that they go into Rafah — they haven’t gone in Rafah but — in the event that they go into Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons which were used traditionally to take care of Rafah, to take care of the cities — that take care of that downside,” Biden, 81, instructed CNN.

Then final Friday, the State Division dropped a report that concluded it’s “cheap to evaluate” Israel violated worldwide humanitarian regulation in Gaza.

Nonetheless, Biden’s staff is underscoring that regardless of variations with Israel over Rafah, the administration stays deeply dedicated to serving to its ally.

“Nobody has achieved extra to defend Israel when it mattered than President Biden. He was there within the days after October seventh, the primary president to go to Israel within the midst of a battle,” Blinken instructed NBC’s “Meet the Press Sunday.”

“When Iran mounted an unprecedented assault on Israel some weeks in the past – 300 projectiles, together with ballistic missiles, launched at Israel – america for the primary time ever participated in its lively protection,” he added. “Nobody has achieved greater than Joe Biden.”

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